From her office in the University of Minnesota’s Health and Eating Lab, professor Traci Mann researches self-control and dieting. And what she has discovered is groundbreaking. Not only do diets not work; they often result in weight gain. Americans are losing the battle of the bulge because our bodies and brains are not hardwired to resist food—the very idea of it works against our biological imperative to survive.
In Secrets From the Eating Lab, Mann challenges assumptions—including those that make up the very foundation of the weight loss industry—about how diets work and why they fail. The result of more than two decades of research, it offers cutting-edge science and exciting new insights into the American obesity epidemic and our relationship with eating and food.
Secrets From the Eating Lab also gives readers the practical tools they need to actually lose weight and get healthy. Mann argues that the idea of willpower is a myth—we shouldn’t waste time and money trying to combat our natural tendencies. Instead, she offers 12 simple, effective strategies that take advantage of human nature instead of fighting it—from changing the size of your plates to socializing with people with healthy habits, removing “healthy” labels that send negative messages to redefining comfort food.
As I was reading Mann’s book, I couldn’t help but notice that her research findings were consistent with a lot of what I’ve learned and discovered on my journey to peace and freedom with food. You probably won’t be surprised at all by some of Mann’s recommendations, like:
- keeping food that you don’t want to eat out of your home and work environments
- surrounding yourself with other people who make healthy choices
- mindful eating
- and other tips that we in the whole food, plant based movement have been using for years!
What you will find refreshing are some of her other, more unusual findings, including:
- changing how you think about tempting foods using abstraction techniques
- creating plans in advance for how to deal with anticipated food obstacles
- precommiting to a penalty for indulging (I’ve got a future post in me about how I implemented this into my life with great success on Bright Line Eating)
- and many more
If you’d like to read about Mann’s conclusions from her research, you can pick up a copy of her excellent book here:
I didn’t get the feeling that Professor Mann had ever heard of Bright Line Eating. It’s my impression that the long term research study that Susan Pierce Thompson is doing in the Bright Line Eating world is going to knock the socks off of this whole world of dieting research. The long term weight loss results that folks are achieving on BLE appear to be blowing every other program out of the water. It’s so much more than just a food plan. It’s a complete, effective, powerful habit overhaul. Researchers all over the globe are going to have to take notice. It’s really exciting stuff.
Enjoy the interview and I’ll catch you again really soon!